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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Scythian

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(Σκύθης ) occurs in Colossians 3:11 as a generalized term for a rude, ignorant, degraded person. In the Gospel, says Paul, "there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but Christ is all and in all." It was anciently applied sometimes to a particular people, and sometimes to all the nomad tribes which had their seat to the north of the Black and Caspian seas, stretching indefinitely eastward into the unknown regions of Asia. It had thus much the same latitude as "Tartars," and was in like manner synonymous with Barbarian (Βάρβαρος ). The same view of Scythian barbarism appears in 2 Maccabees 4:47 and 3 Maccabees 7:5, also in Josephus (Cont. Apion. ii, 37) and Parmenio (ap. Athen. v, 221). For other similar testimonies, see Wettstein, Nov. Test. ii, 292.

The Scythians were, in fact, the ancient representatives of the modern Tartars, and, like them, moved from place to place in carts drawn by oxen. It is from this circumstance that they, or a tribe nearly allied to them, may be recognised on the monuments of Egypt. In the latter part of the 7th century B.C., they had become well known as a formidable power through the whole of Western Asia. Forced from their original quarters north of the Caucasian range by the inroads of the Massagetee, they descended into Asia Minor, where they took Sardis (B.C. 629), and maintained a long war with the Lydian monarchs; thence they spread into Media (B.C. 624), where they defeated Cyaxares. They then directed their course to Egypt, and were bribed off by Psammetichus; on their return they attacked the Temple of Venus Urania at Ascalon. They were finally ejected B.C. 596, after having made their name a terror to the whole Eastern world (Herod. i, 103 sq.). The name of Seythopolis, by which Beth-shean was known in our Saviour's time, was regarded as a trace of the Scythian occupation (Pliny, v, 16). This, however, is

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Scythian'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/s/scythian.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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